Latest Current Affairs – April 21 2018
1. Centre approves death penalty for rapists of kids below 12
The Centre has approved the ordinance prescribing death penalty to those convicted of raping children aged below 12 years. The move comes a day after the government told the Supreme Court that it was considering an amendment to the current law. Currently, the maximum punishment for the crime is life imprisonment, while the minimum is a seven-year jail term.
2. Millie Bobby Brown youngest person in TIME 100 list
Fourteen-year-old actress Millie Bobby Brown, known for starring in ‘Stranger Things’, has become the youngest person to feature on TIME’s list of 100 Most Influential People. Brown first starred in the series when she was 12. In a tribute penned to her, actor Aaron Paul wrote, “She may have been 12 in years, but her spirit and mind were timeless.”
3. BCCI forms committee to deal with sexual harassment cases
The BCCI has formed a four-member internal complaints committee for prevention of sexual harassment against women at the workplace. The members of the committee, whose tenure will run for a year, include BCCI employee Karina Kripalani, former cricketer Saba Karim, Rupawati Rao and an external member in the form of Veena Gowda.
4. Japanese volcano erupts for the first time in 250 years
After lying dormant since 1768, Japan’s Mount Io has erupted for the first time, spewing smoke and ash 400 metres high into the air. Officials warned that large flying rocks could fall over a three-kilometre radius. Japan has 110 active volcanoes as it lies within the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, where 80% of the world’s earthquakes and eruptions take place.
5. Scientist at US lab that made 1st-ever atom bomb dies at 97
Turkey-born scientist Nerses Krikorian, who worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which developed the atomic bomb, has passed away aged 97. Krikorian fled to the US as a boy to escape the aftermath of Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turks. In his over four-decade-long career, he worked with uranium in the Manhattan Project and also helped develop a nuclear-thermal rocket.
6. UK’s Prince Charles to succeed Queen as Commonwealth head
Britain’s Prince Charles has been appointed as the successor to his mother Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the Commonwealth after all 53 nations agreed on his name. The Queen had appealed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to appoint him as the head. The position, held by the Queen since 66 years, is not hereditary.
7. 6 countries suspend membership in UNASUR regional bloc
A South American bloc created a decade ago to counter US influence in the region has temporarily lost half its members after six countries suspended their memberships amid differences over who should lead the group. Bolivian Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni said that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru had decided to temporarily leave the Union of South American Nations, or UNASUR, given differences over choosing the secretary general of the group.
8. India to join 8 countries having sex offenders database
India will join a club of eight countries with a sexual offender database to monitor and track those convicted of such crimes, amidst growing criticism against it in the US, where it is pursued aggressively. While the registry in the US is public, in other countries like Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa,Trinidad and Tobago and United Kingdom, where such data of convicted sex offenders is maintained, it is purely for the consumption of the law enforcement authorities.
9. Aadhaar seeding must for bank accounts under KYC norms: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made linking of national biometric ID Aadhaar to bank accounts mandatory as part of its updated ‘Know Your Customer (KYC)’ guidelines. Till now, an Officially Valid Document (OVD) for address proof together with Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by the Income Tax department and a recent passport size photograph were the key KYC documents.
OVD means the passport, the driving licence, Voter’s Identity Card issued by the Election Commission of India, job card issued by NREGA duly signed by an officer of the State Government, letter issued by the National Population Register containing details of name and address.
10. 8th South Asian Judo Championship begins in Lalitpur
8th South Asian Judo Championship begins in Lalitpur near Kathmandu. Besides host Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participating in a three day championship. A total 102 players including 13 from India will compete for 7 gold, 7 silver and 14 bronze medals each in men’s and women’s individual categories.
11. World Immunisation Week 2018: Nations must ensure vaccines reach 90% population: WHO
As the World Immunisation Week begins on April 24, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said all member countries must ensure covering 90 per cent of the population each time and listed ways to achieve the target. Over the past 14 months, 113 million children received the measles and rubella vaccine as part of mass campaigns in Bangladesh, India and Indonesia. These vaccines will have life-changing impact for each one of those children.
12. Government to roll out Integrated Initiative for Prevention & Control of Viral Hepatitis
The Health Ministry has decided to roll out an initiative for prevention and control of viral hepatitis to address aspects such as surveillance, awareness generation, safe blood and injection safety to combat the disease.
Under the initiative, the ministry has decided to establish a state coordination unit under the state NHM for efficient rollout of the programme in 26 large and four small states. There is also a plan to set up 50 state laboratories for assisting in diagnosis and training of the district hospitals for screening of hepatitis.
13. Government launches Central Project Monitoring Unit for e-Vidhan project at Parliament
Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Statistics and Programme Implementation, Vijay Goel inaugurated the new office of Central Project Monitoring Unit for the e-Vidhan project of the Government at the Parliament House Annexe. This was done as a part of Swachhata Pakhwada being observed by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs from 16th to 30th April, 2018.
e-Vidhan is a mission mode project to digitize and make the functioning of State Legislatures in India paperless. It is a part of the broader Digital India Programme of the Government and is likely to contribute to the cleanliness & environment by reducing the use of papers to a great extent.
14. India, Finland settle Nokia tax dispute under MAP
The Income Tax Department has confirmed that India and Finland have reached an agreement under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) system. Nokia India was issued a demand notice for ₹2,500 crore in 2013, which was thereafter reduced to ₹1,600 crore. The Income Tax Department also raised a tax demand of ₹10,000 crore tax on Nokia Corporation for the same transaction, which has now been dropped under the MAP agreement.
15. India pitches for independent BRICS credit rating agency
India has pressed the Brics nations to set up an independent rating agency of the five-member group. India had first mooted the idea of having such an agency for the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) grouping to can solve impediments for the emerging market economies posed by the present credit rating agency market dominated by S&P, Moody’s and Fitch.
16. First International SME Convention 2018 to be held in New Delhi
One hundred and fifty participants from 31 countries and 400 entrepreneurs from India will participate in the four day International SME convention being held in New Delhi from 22ndto 24th April. The Ministry of MSME has engaged with over 35 International Trade Development organisations to attract and invite able and willing entrepreneurs and encourage people to people contact with select Indian Entrepreneurs from key sectors of the International counterparts.
17. Earth Day – April 22
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. Earth Day 2018 will focus on fundamentally changing human attitude and behavior about plastics and catalyzing a significant reduction in plastic pollution.
End Plastic Pollution is the official campaign of Earth Day 2018.